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Advice For Every Bride

September 25, 2016
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Advice For Every Bride:

In today’s world there are so many means to receive information. Social media plays a huge role in spreading information via websites and applications, allowing users to create and share content while participating in social networking and bringing together people and ideas from around the world. Wedding planning today is so different from the past when brides relied on bridal magazines and bridal shops to help them with all their wedding details. Today’s brides have a myriad of unlimited resources including, bridal magazines and bridal websites, industry professionals, Pinterest, specialized apps for the phone, and, of course, Google. Endless sources of options and advice can be overwhelming and exhausting and may not help you focus on what you really want for your special day. A better way to gather wedding information may be to pulse previous brides or industry professionals for their advice. They have recent wedding experience will likely have lots of tips, and mishaps, to share with you as you navigate the wedding planning process.

I was a bride once and like many girls, my friends and I grew up dreaming of our wedding day. We fantasized about our groom, the wedding, and all the details of the day. As the planning process for my actual wedding progressed and the day, preceded by years of anticipation, finally arrived, the wedding and reception literally flew by. Six hours of time was gone in what felt like minutes. From wedding prep, to endless photographs, to hugs and well-wishes from family and friends the pre-wedding hours were a blur. Before I knew it, it was time to walk down the aisle, pose for endless photos, dinner, toasts, dancing, cake, bouquet toss, more dancing, more photos, and then, in what seemed like a blink of the eye, my wedding was over. Looking back on the wedding planning process and wedding day, the advice I give to brides is to try and enjoy the actual moments more. Though weddings involve a lot of people and timelines, ultimately the day is yours, your friends and family are there for YOU, and the special moments aren’t going to happen without you. Enjoy every minute!

Here at Amos Productions we are blessed to work with wonderful couples on a daily basis. One of our recent brides, Stacey DeMoss, offers her best advice to future brides.

“Future brides and grooms need to make sure they hire professional vendors. Hands down it’s the best decision they could make. It takes all of the stress out of the day knowing that you have an amazing team making sure your day turns out fabulous.”

We also have the opportunity to work with many wonderful industry professionals at local venues around the Bay Area. Allison Bruley is the Corporate Event/Office Manager for Beet’s Hospitality Group at Palm Event Center in the Vineyard and Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery. I had the opportunity to ask her as an Industry Professional what advice she would offer to brides and grooms.

“My advice for the bride and groom is to make it a priority to stop and appreciate the moment You have to consciously take time to make that happen. With the whirlwind of the day you can get wrapped up and have it pass by without truly feeling like you are present. When coordinating events I make my clients take a deep breath and soak it all in. They always appreciate the reminder!”

I was also curious to hear from Allison on how vendors can best serve the bride and groom.

“My advice for vendors is to set a realistic expectation with your client…even if it’s difficult. Clients often come to us with grand visions that can be difficult to execute. We cannot let our desire to please the customer lead to disappointing them in the long run. If you develop a relationship with honesty your clients will trust your advice.”

There are many common words of advice from bride to bride as well. In researching first hand stories it seems that no matter how much advice a couple receives from family, friends, and planners, details can be forgotten or, after the fact, brides wish they had done something differently. Missed photo opportunities, vendor timeline confusion, or décor delays can be better planned and accounted for prior to the wedding with the help and advice of industry professionals who coordinate such events on a daily basis.

Here is a list of some of the more common words of advice from past brides in random order:

Have a Plan
Delegate a bridesmaid, family member or friend to take care of all of the important day of responsibilities for you. Are there gifts that need to be taken home, a guest book that needs to not be forgotten, or vendor tips to be handed out? Make sure you assign these duties in advance so someone else can take care of them on the day of your wedding. Select a person you trust will not forget any of the items you assign to them. As the bride, you should have confidence that all details are covered and not have a thing to worry about on your wedding day.

Bridal Party Timeline/Itinerary
Create an itinerary that details the wedding week/weekend for your entire wedding party and anyone else that will be a part of this special day. This will ensure that everyone knows where and what they will be doing and will not need to contact you to see what is expected of them and what’s to come next.

Eat
Don’t forget to eat and stay hydrated on your wedding day. Not eating or drinking (water) can make you feel weak and tired. Snack throughout the day and ask your caterer to pack you and your groom a “to go” dinner and dessert for after the wedding. You won’t pay attention to how hungry you are until after all the festivities conclude and you realize you’ve barely had time to eat since you walked down the aisle.

Allison Bruley has witnessed time and time again brides and grooms missing their meals.

“Adrenaline is a powerful appetite suppressant. At Beets we try everything that we can to get them to eat. We follow them with a cart of food during pictures and we guard the head table during dinner. Even with all of this effort they still do not eat! This is why we send them home with a goodie bag of late night snacks. From personal experience, you should prepare to get back to the hotel and have that hunger hit you like a freight train. Ultimately you may order room service but you can’t say we didn’t try!”

Take Pictures Before You Say “I do”
While this can be a controversial issue and many brides and grooms look forward to the first reveal at the actual wedding ceremony, it is becoming more common for brides and grooms to take special photos before the ceremony. This keeps guests from waiting and also allows the bride and groom to be more involved in the cocktail hour and other events leading up to the reception. If you choose to do a first look, work with your photographer and videographer to find a secluded location to see each other for the first time. Take in the moment away from family and friends and get those special shots before the ceremony.

Anna, the owner of Ultra-Spective Photography in Livermore shared her thoughts on a “First Look”. As a photographer she gets to know her clients first and finds out what is important to them. If her clients tend to be more traditional they will stay traditional. Some of her clients want to attend the cocktail hour with their guests and traditional items aren’t as important to them, so they choose to do the pictures prior to the Ceremony. Anna admits this can be a tricky topic.

“As you know the traditional first look at the altar can be a very emotional moment and sometimes it’s nice to keep this tradition. BUT in terms of photography, of course, we get better images for the “first look” if we do it prior to the ceremony. There are pros and cons to both and it’s a balance between creating amazing images and being true to telling the story of the day.”

Anna provided a short list of the pros and cons regarding before or after Ceremony photographs.

Photos Before The Ceremony
The advantage to doing pictures before the Ceremony is the photographer will have more control over lighting and it allows the bride and groom more time with their guests. The disadvantage is the bride and groom will have to be ready for the wedding day much earlier and guests who come early may see the couple before the actual ceremony. The element of surprise is also gone, which Anna says can be a good or a bad thing. Some brides and grooms like the impact of seeing each other the first time at the ceremony, while others get nervous.

Photos After The Ceremony
The advantage of doing pictures after the ceremony is that the sun, except during the winter months, is usually lower in the sky, offering a softer/prettier light. The disadvantage is obviously the bride and groom have less time with their guests and cocktail hour participation is usually not something they get to experience.

Stacey DeMoss opted to do her photos prior to her Ceremony.

“Doing a first look and getting as many pictures out of the way before the Ceremony is the way to go. We were able to enjoy our cocktail hour with our guests instead of taking pictures and then we snuck away before sunset to get some romantic ones. Best decision.”

Soak in the Moment
You have spent months and months planning this day. From the food, cake and music to your various vendors, table linens and lighting options, every detail has been thought out and accounted for. You have enjoyed the planning process, stressful or not, and now your vision for your special day has become reality. You are surrounded by people who love and care about you and these same people mean the world to you both. Look around the room, see the people there, feel the love that surrounds you and embrace the amazing feeling you feel. This day is filled with emotions that will last you a lifetime. Marriage isn’t always easy, so remember these special moments and being able to reflect on them always will be such a blessing. Focus on the two of you, not everyone in attendance. It’s not about keeping the reception party going, it’s about making memories with your spouse. This is a blissful day; soak up every minute of the love and excitement.

Toast
Feel free to speak up during the toasts. You have all of your family and friends there to celebrate you. Say a little something to all of them and it will mean so much. Often at weddings you only hear the best man and the maid of honor speak, sometimes the parents. Change it up and surprise everyone.

Tell Your Love Story
Guests will love to hear your story, coming from you. This is a memorable way to share your love, include everyone else and leave a lasting impression. This differentiates your story from everyone else’s.

Lock In the Venue
It’s important to lock in the venue and date first, before making any other major decision. You don’t want to buy a wedding dress in plans of having a summer wedding and then the venue you book only has winter dates. Your dress, decor, linens, flowers, menu, etc. typically revolve around the time of year of your wedding.

Hire a Videographer
A lot of brides and grooms wait until the end to book a video of their celebration. Weddings are expensive and videography often is last on the list. But, why? These brides and grooms often regret not having a video to watch and tell the story of their special day. Videos are sentimental gifts that can be enjoyed between you and your newlywed, your family and friends for years to come.

Stacey DeMoss admitted, “To be honest we weren’t planning on hiring a video team for our wedding, but after seeing our teaser video I’m so glad we did. We really enjoyed seeing the live action for the wedding day.”

Check out the Wedding Video Teaser that Amos Productions produced for Stacey & James.

Get Personal Recommendations Before Hiring Vendors
Take your time and don’t rush your vendor selections. Spend more time planning and enjoying and less time rushing and stressing. Make sure your special day is a reflection of you, and choose vendors that can accommodate your vision. Family and friends may make recommendations, which you may choose to consider and can be a great starting point in your planning process. But ultimately, the day and those who contribute to it should be your choice.

Delay Your Honeymoon
Delayed honeymoons are becoming increasingly popular among newlyweds in this ever so busy lifestyle we live, filled with distractions and unreasonable demands. Most couples are on a budget and by waiting for certain seasons, flights and accommodations can be cheaper. It’s also nice to get things put away after the wedding, finish up last minute projects and complete everything at work before you head out for a week or two. You may be able to relax and enjoy your trip more, rather than worry about lingering items on the to-do list. Being spontaneous and booking last minute travel deals can add to the excitement of a delayed honeymoon getaway.

Don’t Let Perfection Get the Best of You
What bride doesn’t want her special day to be perfect? The event is an expression of you and your love. But, keep in mind that some of our best memories are those we don’t expect or plan for. Embrace the unexpected and don’t let it ruin your day because in the end, all the details will be forgotten and the overall impressions of your special day will be the most treasured. After all, wedding isn’t about perfection but about the love you share.

Stacey DeMoss expressed this perfectly when she said, “Make sure the day is about you as much as possible and NOT about your guests or family wants.”

In the end, the best advice is to plan ahead, don’t sweat little things that can’t be controlled, roll with the unexpected, stay on budget, and try to complete the planning a few weeks before the big day. Steal special moments with your significant other throughout your wedding day, remembering just why you, your family and your closest friends are there. Soak up your vision, as this will be one of the BEST days of your life. Your dress will be amazing, the food will be scrumptious, the flowers will bring romance to your reception, and the cake will be perfect. Keeping your perspective realistic will make you a happy bride indeed!

We would love to hear your stories and advice, whether you are a past bride, a bride to be or an acquaintance of someone getting married. What do you feel is the most important piece of advice for someone planning their dream wedding? Please share your experiences, ideas and any information that may come in handy to a bride and groom planning their wedding day.

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Writing Your Wedding Vows

June 14, 2015
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Writing Your Own Vows

Writing Your Wedding Vows

Writing your own wedding vows can be an amazing way to express your love and commitment in your own words. It’s a perfect way to personalize your wedding and to show guests exactly what you love about each other. Why settle for words that most other couples have used when you can be unique and create an atmosphere that is yours in its entirety. Finding the words to express exactly how you feel may indeed seem daunting, but when you do, it will surely be a special touch for both you as a couple and for your wedding guests.

Traditional wedding vows are historically the foundation of most marriages.
I, ______, take you, ______, to be my husband/wife, to have and to
hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness
and health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.

The promises and commitments these vows express are meaningful and universal. However, for some couples, traditional wedding vows do not embrace their emotion and vision of the future as a married couple.
Non-traditional vows can encompass whatever you choose, from memories about the past to visions of the future together. Some couples enjoy writing original vows together, reminiscing about the origin of their relationship and their commitment to the future. Others prefer the suspense of writing vows separately and hearing them for the first time at their wedding. Whether you choose to write your vows separately or together, you may want to think about mirroring them in terms of tone, style and length, in order to maintain flow and consistency throughout the ceremony.
Getting started can often be the hardest part of writing vows. Here are a few ideas to discuss with your fiancé that may help both of you focus your writing.

• How long should the vows be?
• Should mutual phrases begin and/or end both sets of vows?
o Example: I promise or I can’t wait to begin my life with you
• Will your vows will be serious, or humorous, or both?
• Will you include special memories from your relationship?
• Will you include promises and parts of your relationship/personality you will work on?
o Example: Strengths and weaknesses
• What is the greatest thing about the person you are about to marry?
• When did you know you were in love and know you were ready for marriage?
• What does marriage mean to you; why do you want to be married?
• What is the most important promise you will make?
• What will marriage change and what will stay the same?
• How will you support each other during difficult times, how has your life improved since you met, and what can you accomplish together?
• What do you respect most about your partner? What inspires you most? What do you miss when apart?

Most importantly, when you write your own vows you can craft phrases that represent you, your relationship and your personalities, as well as reflect your commitment to each other. The words you write should be words that you are comfortable expressing in front of all of your family and guests. They should sound like you and be an expression of who you are and who you hope to be as a married couple. It’s OK to borrow from poetry, books, and spiritual books, but be careful not to let those words overpower your own. Allow plenty of time to reflect, write and edit and don’t forget to practice, practice, practice!

At Amos Productions we have the opportunity to work with so many engaged couples. One of these couples, Rachel and Kevin Batstone, shared their thoughts on why writing their own vows was so important to them. While Kevin’s concern was more about making his vows interesting and interactive, Rachel’s primary goal was to create something that felt right to her and that exemplified what love meant to her and to them as a couple.

We felt more strongly about what we didn’t want it to be, than what it “should” be…we knew we didn’t want ours to look or feel or be anything other than who we are as a couple. As we planned our wedding and worked on the ceremony script and vows, we focused on what made our relationship uniquely “us”. We both felt that this was an opportunity to create something that reflected who we are, what we believe in and to share that with the people who we love and mean the most to us in our lives.
– Rachel & Kevin Batstone

Whether you are inspired to write your own personal statement of love and commitment or you decide to take a more traditional approach, make sure your promises are meaningful to your relationship and will be something you treasure forever.

Did you write your own vows? Do you have any input for future couples? We would like to hear from you?! Please leave a message for us below!

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Videography: Capturing Every Moment Of Your Wedding Day

March 19, 2015
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*Check out some of our samples above to see and hear the quality of our work.

Capturing Every Moment Of Your Wedding Day

Creating the perfect wedding can take months of planning, organization, and coordination, while the actual day of your wedding often seems to fly by in an instant. Professional videography can capture every moment and detail of your special day, ensuring you have memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Why hire a professional videographer?

• Time Capsule
A videographer records all the special moments of your day and creates a treasured memory for you, your family, and future generations to enjoy for years to come. Professional videographers are trained to see “the big picture”, to record not only the bride and groom but also the myriad of other people and details that make your wedding day noteworthy. Your crazy uncle doing the Funky Chicken on the dance floor, your flower girls playing hide and seek behind the draping, the sound of your father’s laugh, and candid conversations wishing you well in your marriage are just a few examples of funny or special moments that may have been missed and will be surely treasured forever. While memories fade and loved ones grow old, videography captures moments, emotions, and people as they are on your wedding day for you to enjoy and cherish forever.

• Moments You Missed
No matter how hard you try to be everywhere and see everything on your wedding day, many noteworthy moments will be missed. A videographer captures the bride and bridesmaids getting ready in one area and the typical shenanigans of the groom and groomsmen dressing in another area. He will capture the intimate moments of the bride and groom waiting for their grand entrance into the reception as well as the wedding guests enjoying cocktail hour. With professional videography, every moment and every part of your wedding day can be relived over and over again.

• Motion Picture
The responsibility of a videographer is to create a motion picture of your wedding day. Their role is essential in capturing the sights, sounds, mood, and emotions that can transport you back to that special time every time you view the video.

Why cinematic vs. traditional video?

Cinematic video is the art of storytelling. It does that through images, speech, and music, shot in short clips rather than the traditional, consecutive documentation of every minute of your wedding day. The ultimate goal of cinematic video is to capture the mood and emotion of your wedding day, to tell a great story, your story, from beginning to end.

Why Amos Productions Video?

Our goal at Amos Productions is to capture your special day using the latest technology, equipment, and training by our professional videographers. While Smartphones can certainly record fun, impromptu videos of the day, they cannot compare to the quality recording, editing, and experienced videography that will ensure a professional result. Our top of the line video cameras allow our videographers to work with all types of lighting and audio scenarios. The Amos Production staff ensures that camera settings are correct and are experienced to both anticipate events and be ready for the unexpected, while keeping shots steady and avoiding bad angles or backdrops.

Amos Productions offers years of videography experience in both wedding and corporate video production. We are excited to tell your story in a non-intrusive, artistic, and professional way.

Be sure to click the green link above to request a quote, or feel free to contact our office by phone or email. 925-449-3847 or [email protected]

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Wedding Toasts & Speeches

March 19, 2015
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BEST-MAN-TOAST-BLOG

Writing a Best Man or Maid/Matron of Honor Speech

Delivering a wedding toast or speech should be fun, personal and from the heart. Remember, that you will probably be on video, so start preparing yourself to be in the spot light. If you are reading this, we assume you have been chosen to deliver a toast or speech to a bride and groom. To help you get started, we have included some tips on writing and delivering a speech.

Begin by writing down thoughts about the bride and groom and your relationship to them.

• How do you know them?
• Why did they choose you as best man or maid of honor?
• How would you describe each of them? What are the first five adjectives that come to mind?
• What was the groom like before he met the bride? How has he changed knowing her?
• How did they meet? How did the bride tell you about him?
• If you are married, you may want to share marriage advice you’ve received or have learned.
• Are there any particularly amusing anecdotes that illustrate who the bride and/or groom are?

Get creative and if appropriate, use humor to capture the attention of your audience and emotion to cause them to shed a tear. You may want to organize your speech into a top 3 or top 10 list, citing the top reasons why the Bride and Groom belong together. Another fun idea is to write your speech around a bag of items that you bring, handing off each item in the bag to either the Bride or Groom as you offer advice, thoughts, or humor related to each item.

Tips to remember when preparing your speech:

• Introduce Yourself – The Bride and Groom know who you are but probably most of the audience will not.
• Express gratitude – Thank the Bride and Groom for including you and all the guests in their special day.
• Compliment the Bride – It’s the Bride’s day; make her feel extra-special.
• Appropriate content – Make sure the content of your speech is appropriate for the audience.
• Limit your time – Stay on topic and limit your time to 3-5 minutes.
• Closing line – End with a beautiful romantic quote or a heartfelt comment.
• Prepare – Practice and use notecards if needed.

Tips for the day of the wedding:

• Know how to operate the microphone and don’t be afraid to use it.
• Work with the videographer to determine the best spot to deliver your speech.
• Speak clearly.
• Deliver your speech at a good pace – not too fast, not too slow.
• Limit your alcohol consumption prior to your speech.
• Be sure to raise a glass to the couple at the end of your speech.

Especially for the Maid/Matron of Honor

Your friend or family member asked you to be her Maid/Matron of Honor because you are special to her. She is trusting you to represent this special relationship in a speech to all the other guests. Be sure to take this responsibility seriously by preparing a speech and practicing. Speak from your heart, be yourself, and don’t feel pressured to be funny or sentimental or lengthy.

Especially for the Best Man:

Similarly, the Groom chose you to be his Best Man because you are significant in his life. Whether you choose to roast the Groom with a series of funny stories and anecdotes, take a more serious approach, or combine the two, it’s important to pay tribute to the Groom and his Bride. Be yourself and make sure to deliver a speech that reflects your genuine relationship with the Groom. The Best Man speech is generally expected to be humorous. Here is just one example:

I am happy to be here tonight. When the groom wanted a Best Man, he went to the smartest man he knew. When he said no, he asked the most handsome man he knew. When he said no, he asked the most popular man he knew. And finally after being asked 3 times, I agreed.

Amos Productions Event Services:

The key to a successful event is all in the planning stages. At Amos Productions, our staff of certified professionals have years of experience and advice to offer you. For just about every event we do, we help guide you through the planning stages and assist you in pulling together all of the details for a seamless result. Building a custom timeline, planning important formalities, selecting the right staff and equipment, as well as choosing the appropriate music for your event, are just some of our specialties. Our goal is to exceed your expectations before the event even begins. Our Monthly Open House is a great opportunity to learn more about our services.

Here’s to creating a memorable speech for a very special occasion. Cheers!

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